maslow’s business strategy

I had no blog posts last week. I also had no power. I had no heat. Each day, I fought windmills. Finding a place to keep the family warm. Cleaning up from where the trees crashed into the house and all over the yard. A nightly battle to keep my pipes from freezing — while during the day in an ironic twist — I was also trying to keep a deep freezer and fridge cold.

We’re OK now. The mess has been cleaned up. Appliances are sucking energy off the grid. Insurance people will visit. Life is returning to normal. While there was a part of me that enjoyed the challenge of keeping everything going in less than optimal circumstances, it occupied my entire life last week and other non-essential things got pushed down the list of priorities.

It’s something to keep in mind as we enter what appears to be either a real or perceived downturn in the economy.

You’ve probably heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs which basically gives a stairstep / pyramid order of what a human needs to exist and be productive. The base consists of your personal physiological needs and sense of safety. Until those basic needs are met, the higher level functions of creativity, problem solving, and higher level thinking aren’t that strong.

People say that a down economy is a great time to start a business. But, is it?

As people are just trying to keep their heads above water, they may not have what it takes to make a successful venture. Until they have that sense of security and safety, they’ll have a hard time finding the creativity and problem solving skills to start something new.

So just as I’m currently in the process of Y2K-equiping the house for the next time the power goes off — maybe you should start planning your marketing and business plan for a worst case scenario while you’re still snug and secure. The best time to build a lifeboat is before you get in the water.